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“Nadia is nothing short of amazing! She continues to work with us on Our Restorative Justice a 501(c)(3) that seeks to disrupt the school to prison pipeline at as many points as possible using time honored restorative justice practices. Nadia has helped us in innumerable ways. She has coached our ED and me as board chair. She has helped us with fundraising work, grant writing work, board governance and development strategy issues. She is highly creative and finds all kinds of informational resources that extend her help cost effectively through things you and I can read. She takes her strong corporate world background and disciplined skills, and uses them to support the efforts of the nonprofit world. Enormously importantly she has excellent judgment and a keen sense of when to support and when to allow those in the entity who should lead to do exactly that. She works with perseverance, good humor and humility. Nadia’s heart is enormous and it shines through in everything she does. And, so far (which is the better part of a year), I have not detected anything that a 501(c)(3) might need that she can’t do or help to do. Nadia is a rare and precious gem nestled into the stones on the beach of life. If you have picked her up from among the others, do not put her down!”
by Professor Susan Maze-Rothstein Northeastern University School of Law/Founder, Our Restorative Justice

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How Do I Get My Board On-Board with Fundraising?

Nadia Prescott

Let’s face it, board members typically don’t like fundraising! But it’s a very important part of their role, especially if you are small organization with no development staff. If you are lucky, you will have one or two people with some fundraising experience on your board to help lead the effort. If not, you will need to set this as priority and get your board educated so they become active partners in ensuring the financial health of your organization

For both start-up and mature organizations, there are a number of ways to get your board members involved with fundraising that don’t require making phone calls or visiting donors in-person. You can start slowly by following two simple steps:

  • Ensure board members attend all planned fundraising events. Arrange for them to meet the individuals whose lives have been positively impacted by your organization so they can be inspired to do more.
  • Use board meetings as a platform for hearing directly from board members about what inspires them about your organization. Invite them to tell their story about why they joined your organization and what they hope to accomplish. You’ll get some amazing answers and generate a lot of energy that will help you motivate fundraising involvement.

What many board members often don’t understand is how to use information they learn from clients, each other and their own personal journey to make fundraising less onerous and more rewarding. They tend to think of fundraising as something separate versus an opportunity to speak passionately about your organization’s mission, successes, and why they joined your board in the first place. If you can help them make this leap, your ability to engage your board in raising money will be easier and your board will be more enthusiastic participants in the fundraising efforts. It’s win- win.

There are several tools and strategies you can provide to your board to support their engagement in successful fundraising (see February, April and June newsletters for suggestions). To learn more about how to get your board involved in fundraising, visit to www.emergingexecutive.com/resources and download the webinar on Fundraising Planning. It’s one in a series of useful and simple to understand webinars designed to give you an overview of how to maximize your fundraising strategies.